For the second year in a row, Restless Development has worked with The University of Sheffield to place Masters students studying International Development with a Country Programme to conduct research for their dissertation.
In 2013, two students from the University travelled to India to conduct research on youth livelihoods. Arleigh Delaney was one of the lucky students selected to travel to this exciting country and spend 4 weeks in Tamil Nadu and 2 weeks in Delhi.
Arleigh commented, ‘While at Restless Development I conducted an evaluation of Youth Resource Centres (YRCs) in Tamil Nadu under the project title ‘Youth Friendly Services in India: A Gap Analysis’. The project focused mainly on the YRC model as an Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) initiative and conducted research on its services. This took me to 3 districts in Tamil Nadu: Kanchipuram, Vellore and Tiruvallur’.
Arleigh’s exciting research allowed him to travel extensively around Tamil Nadu, something which took him a while to get used to, but later became one of his most enjoyable parts of his placement. ‘The nature of my research meant I needed to frequently visit the YRCs in the varying districts in Tamil Nadu where Restless Development had activities. From my base in Chengalputtu, Kanchipuram it took 6-7 hours travel a day (3-4 hours each way depending on traffic) to Vellore and Tiruvallur. This was extremely concerning for me as it would take approx. 1 hour to drive from one side of my island (Barbados) to the next. Despite the woes of traveling which I got over by the final day, I was able to spend time with an enthusiastic national volunteer, who had just completed his undergraduate degree in English Lit. From him I was able to learn much more than could be read in any book as he shared his stories. Communication was at times a humorous challenge that aided both our learning. His drive and enthusiasm motivates me to keep striving on, remembering your ambitions and keep fighting for them’.
This research placement has not only been a fantastic experience for Arleigh, but it has helped him to have a clear idea of where his passion in development lies. ‘Before this placement I previously worked with two organisations which focused on assisting young people in relation to their health and general development needs. This placement has given me the tools necessary to continue this work more fervently. The importance of health and access to information with respect to the development of young people remains a primary area of interest for me’.
“My research and accompanying travels have given me a greater appreciation for the value of youth work especially in the development sector. This period spent with Restless Development enlightened me to new ways of conducting participation work in development and engaging communities.”